Yankees' Torre runs in torch relay -- with permission

12/14/2005 - MLB New York Yankees

FLORENCE, Italy -- Joe Torre carried the torch for the Turin Olympics on Wednesday -- after clearing it with his daughter.

"The first person I had to ask was my daughter, because today is actually her 10th birthday," said the New York Yankees' manager, who ran 400 yards with the flame.

Torre received the torch from Iowa native Brandon Routh, star of the upcoming "Superman Returns" movie, as part of an American day in the two-month relay.

"I'm just glad he came down to my level for the handoff. There was no way I was going to get up to him," Torre said.

Torre's segment ended at the foot of the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge. He was cheered on by a mix of Italians and Americans, some yelling, "We love you, Joe."

"It was dynamite," Torre said. "I wasn't sure if I was going to make it, but it was really great."

Torre's mother was born in the small town of Patina near Naples.

"That also made this a wonderful invitation for us to come back to take part in the relay," Torre said. "Italy is a special place. I haven't been in Italy for 20 years, but it left some indelible memories in my mind.

"Today, I've only been here a few hours so far, and I've already seen some Yankees fans around the hotel. You don't have to be a baseball fan to know who the New York Yankees are. That is something I've learned in my 10 years there."

The torch relay ends at the opening ceremony Feb. 10 in Turin. It began in Rome last week.

"There is a great deal of spirit that goes along with participating in the Olympics, no matter what minor role you might play," Torre said.